It’s that time again, the last few weeks of busy season. What’s the secret to finishing strong? Saving every last minute you can.
Here are four tips to help maximize your time through the end of April:
- Set Yourself up to Collaborate. The more you adapt to changing technologies, the more efficient you can be. You can use cloud technologies, a website with secure portals, electronic faxing and VoIP, to save time. Developing a collaborative online accounting environment will allow you to work on your schedule, anytime, anywhere, on any device — all while realizing significant time-savings.
- Get Help. Hire a client coordinator to assist with administrative details, such as calling clients to remind them of their appointment time, and scanning and organizing all documents for each client. The coordinator can follow up with clients on missing documents or incomplete paperwork. Where to find this person? Call a temp agency or hire your kids. This frees you up to handle the more important tasks, like actually doing the return!
- Ditch Paper. Review your current processes with the goal of eliminating paper. Don’t send out paper organizers, but rather, put them in portals for your clients. Don’t advise clients to drop off paper documents; instead, get them to scan documents and submit them to you electronically. Don’t deliver paper copies of tax returns; put them back into your client’s portal. The time you save with paperless processes will increase the efficiency of your firm immensely.
- Take Care of Yourself. Just like the flight attendant says, “Put your own oxygen mask on, first,” you can’t take care of your clients unless you take care of yourself. Get enough sleep! Eat right. Exercise. Take a quick walk around the block. Get up every hour and stretch.
- Stay focused. Turn off your phone and text message alerts. Stop checking Facebook. Read your email at 4 p.m. You’ll get a lot more done and won’t feel as frazzled.
The end of tax season doesn’t have to be brutal when you plan, organize and take care of yourself. While there’s no one thing that can ensure your success this tax season, take time to look at how you can increase the efficiency of your firm these next few weeks to create significant time-savings.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published in AccountingWEB.